Congratulations to Tyler Fish, White House Tribal Advisor

shutterstock_106049372By: Theodore J. Griswold | Partner | ted.griswold@procopio.com

Good things happen to good people. It was with great pleasure that we learned this week that Cherokee Citizen Tyler Fish made a jump from the Department of Interior (working as counsel in the Office of the Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs) directly into the White House to provide first hand input on the Administration’s policies regarding Tribal matters. His official position is Senior Policy Advisor & Tribal Liaison at Executive Office of the President, The White House.

A Marine veteran with a can-do and will-do attitude that knows his way around Washington, Tyler brings the kind of energy that this advocacy position needs. I was pleased to get to know Tyler in his law school days when he applied for our Native American Internship position and we have maintained a connection since then. You do that with people of quality, and I can certainly say that about Tyler. It has been fun to watch his career grow into a place of influence and importance. Looking forward to great things coming from his office. Congratulations Tyler!

You can read more about his designation here and here. Meet Tyler on LinkedIn.

Procopio_Griswold_Theodore_Bio Photo

Ted Griswold is head of Procopio’s Native American Law Practice Group and primary editor for the Blogging Circle. Connect with Ted at ted.griswold@procopio.com and 619.515.3277.

LIFTING THE NATIVE AMERICAN BAR: FORMER PROCOPIO INTERNS EXCELLING

By:      Theodore J. Griswold | Partner | ted.griswold@procopio.com

former-procopio-native-american-interns-leading-and-making-a-differenceIt has been an absolute pleasure to watch the success of the interns that have worked with our group and have proliferated to further the Native American Bar nationwide.  As we are preparing to review a new set of Procopio Native American Internship applications for the summer of 2018, we thought that it would be a good time to share with you and applaud the accomplishments of our past interns.  Congratulations to all.  We look forward to continue working with you as colleagues in your professional careers!  For students interested in joining this great network of tomorrow’s Native American legal leaders, applications are open through October 31, 2017.

Eric Abeita (2014), from Isleta Pueblo, is a member of the New Mexico Bar and holds the position of General Counsel for the Pueblo of Pojoaque in Santa Fe New Mexico.  Eric is a 2015 graduate of University of New Mexico College of Law School, where he was the Managing Editor for the Tribal Law Journal and gathered valuable legal clinic experience with the Southwest Indian Law Clinic.

Nichole (Nikke) Alex (2015) is a member of the Navajo Nation and graduated from the University of New Mexico College of Law. Nikke works with the Navajo Nation Department of Justice,  Natural Resources Unit where she is working on abandoned uranium matters including former mine site cleanups, former mill site cleanups and remediation.   In her last year of law school, Nikke was a judicial extern with the Pueblo of Isleta Tribal Court where she assisted with developing a Juvenile Detention Alternative Program and a Peacemaking Program to promote a non-adversarial forum for resolving disputes where Pueblo tradition and culture are utilized to promote healing.  In May 2016, she was able to meet with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor on behalf of the Tribal Court, as part of Justice Sotomayor’s outreach to learn more about the difficult issues faced by Indian Country.  Additionally, during her law school career, Nikke investigated the linkage between mineral extraction and violence against Native women and has worked with tribes to implement safeguards to protect Native women and children.

Fernando Anzaldua (2012) is a citizen of the Tohono O’odham Nation.  Fernando is a federal attorney for the National Labor Relations Board, where he has experienced significant success in federal court, administrative hearings, and bankruptcy court. He has successfully first-chaired a number of trials on behalf of individual employees, unions, and employers. He is a 2013 graduate of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University where he also earned an Indian Legal Certificate. He also gives back to his community by serving on the Executive Board for Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association.

Kele Bigknife (2016) is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, and a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School currently awaiting California Bar results. He is currently working in San Diego at Higgs Fletcher & Mack, emphasizing litigation practice.   Mr. Bigknife was a member of the Editorial Board for the Michigan Business and Entrepreneurial Law Review and was a student attorney for the Michigan Veterans Legal Clinic, representing veterans and their immediate families in civil legal matters.  He previously worked at a Southern California law firm where he gained litigation experience and assisted in drafting depublication requests to the California Supreme Court in issues regarding tribal sovereignty

Daune Cardenas (2017) is a citizen of Pascua Yaqui Tribe in Arizona and is entering her third year at the University of Arizona James F. Rogers College of Law.  Prior to joining Procopio as an intern, Ms. Cardenas interned at the Office of the Attorney General for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe for two years, working primarily in ICWA case files and developing methods to prosecute Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) cases within Tribal Court.  Ms. Cardenas is active in the Native American Bar Association’s Indian Child Welfare Act Subcommittee and is a social director of the Native American Law Students Association Chapter for the University of Arizona.  Ms. Cardenas also recently received the Native American Bar Association of Arizona’s scholarship for community activities.

Stephanie Conduff (2013) is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, Oklahoma, District Court of The Chickasaw Nation, The Supreme Court of Cherokee Nation, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Osage Nation and Chickasaw Nation.  She lives and works in her community in Oklahoma as an attorney, business owner of Leche Lounge and training Native entrepreneurs on best practices for profitability through sustainable development. Stephanie currently works as Director of Special Projects and Legal Counsel for Onefire Holding Company which a diversification venture capital firm of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She launched Leche Lounge, a manufacturing company for portable lactation suites – or Mother’s Rooms – for use in airports, the workplace, stadiums and military bases worldwide.  She graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.  Stephanie served as a judicial clerk for the late Honorable Chief Justice Barbara Smith of the Chickasaw Nation Supreme Court and is certified to assist tribal courts as a Peacemaker.  Stephanie was with Procopio for three years first as a summer intern, then as a law clerk and worked full-time for the firm as an Associate until 2016.

Trinidad Contreras (2011) is a citizen of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel and is a descendant of the Pala Band of Mission Indians.  He is a member of the Alaska Bar and currently Assistant Municipal Attorney for the City and Borough of Juneau.  His practice is primarily in civil law but occasionally works on criminal matters.  He is the 2016-2017 Secretary for the Juneau Bar Association. He is married to Madeline Soboleff Levy, general counsel for the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska.  Together, they are the proud parents of Sofia, age 6, and Guillermo “Memo,” 3 months.

Anna Hohag (2015) is a citizen of the Bishop Paiute Tribe and born and raised in the Eastern Sierras in Bishop, California.  She is a recent graduate of the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona, where she served as the President of the UA Native American Law Students Association. Anna is currently awaiting California Bar results and working with the Bishop office of California Indian Legal Services, which allows her to work on matters for her home tribal government.  Anna was the University of Arizona 2017 recipient of the Rose Davis Public Service Award and the University of Arizona Native American Student Affairs (NASA) Outstanding Graduate Service Award in recognition of her service to Native youth at the University of Arizona. During Law school, she also served as the Area 1 Representative (CA, NV, HI, AZ) for the National Native American Law Students Association and is a Board Member on the California Indian Law Association.

Kelsey Leonard (2015) is a citizen of the Shinnecock Indian Nation and received her law degree at Dusquene University Law School.  Last year she was named the prestigious Philomathia Trillium Scholar by McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario), where she studied climate change’s impact on Native Communities, with a focus on water resource management.  Kelsey was previously the Tribal Co-Lead on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body for the National Ocean Council charged with guiding the protection, maintenance, and restoration of America’s oceans and coasts.  She is also coauthor of a recent collaboration on Indigenous Water Justice. Kelsey as also been recognized as the 2017 Peter Benchley Award Recipient for Excellence in Solutions, the 2016 EE 30 Under 30 Award Winner, the 2016 NCAIED “40 Under 40” Emerging American Indian Leader Award Recipient and was recently appointed to the Great Lakes Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission.

Christopher Scott (2014) is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law (2015), where he was the Note and Comment Editor for the American Indian Law Review.  A member of the Texas Bar, Christopher is currently working as Counsel for Governmental Affairs at Insperity in Houston Texas.  Previously, Christopher was an associate with Ernst & Young in Dallas, Texas, working in labor/employment law in their People Advisory Services Department.

Jaclyn Simi (2012) is a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.  She graduated with honors from Notre Dame de Namur University and received her law degree from California Western Law School (2012), where she was president of the Native American Law Students Association.  Ms. Simi is currently an associate with the San Diego office of Ogletree Deakins, practicing employment litigation and counseling with an emphasis on sports law.  Ms. Simi has been named a San Diego Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2016 and 2017 and to San Diego Business Journal’s Best of the Bar list (2106).   She is an active member of the Lawyers Club of San Diego.

Karli Sultzbaugh (2017) is a member of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians and is currently entering her third year at UCLA School of Law.  Ms. Sultzbaugh, a Native San Diegan, has strong interest in Tribal environmental issues with experience in the Tribal Legal Development Clinic at UCLA.  She is the President of the Native American Law Students Association at UCLA and one of the staff editors for the Indigenous Peoples Journal of Law, Culture and Resistance.  Ms. Sultzbaugh also is a previous litigation intern at Compassion Over Killing which enhanced her strong writing and research skills, and worked as an undergraduate intern at the U.S. Attorneys’ Office in San Diego.

Heather Torres (2016) is a citizen of the Pueblo of San Ildefonso and Navajo Nation descendant.  She is a recent graduate of  UCLA School of Law and is awaiting California Bar results.  She is currently a UC President’s Public Service Law Fellow at the Tribal Law & Policy Institute in West Hollywood, CA. She worked on Capitol Hill as a research assistant for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs under Chairman, Senator John Barrasso (WY) while joining a national network of Udall Scholars. During law school, Ms. Torres externed with the Children’s Law Center, Los Angeles in the Indian Child Welfare Court.  She was also Executive Editor of the Indigenous Peoples’ Journal of Law, Culture & Resistance and Senior Editor for the Chicano/Latino Law Review.  Ms. Torres has a Masters in Collaborative Educational Leadership.  She also graduated Cum Laude from UCLA in English and American Indian Studies.  She served as the President and Alumni Chair for NALSA at UCLA, volunteered with El Centro Legal: Education Rights Clinic, and taught law-related topics to local high school students in her spring semester.

Ted GriswoldTed is head of the Native American Law practice group and primary editor for the Blogging Circle. Connect with Ted at ted.griswold@procopio.com and 619.515.3277.

 

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR PROCOPIO’S SUMMER 2017 NATIVE AMERICAN LAW INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

now-accepting-applications-for-procopios-summer-2017-native-american-law-internship-program

By:      Theodore J. Griswold | Partner | ted.griswold@procopio.com

Procopio has a long-standing tradition of providing growth opportunities to the communities we serve.  Procopio’s Native American Law Practice Group extends this tradition by actively investing in the future leaders of Indian Country through offering paid internships for Native American law students or law students with an emphasis in Native American law.  Please join us in identifying qualified legal students within Native American communities that may be interested in being part of this engaging opportunity.

The Native American Law Internship provides an opportunity for two Native American law students to gain hands-on experience dealing with everyday legal issues facing Native American communities.  Interns are involved in matters that deal with specific Indian law-related legal practice matters and other legal problems facing tribal governments and Native entities.  Procopio Interns reach out to local Native American youth to provide guidance and inspiration regarding educational direction and opportunities.

Interns join a nationwide network of the next generation of Native American Law attorneys in an active alumni program consisting of judicial clerks, governmental attorneys and associates at law firms.  Following the internship, we remain active with our alumni to mentor and prepare them for their success in the industry.  If you are interested in where the past interns have directed their professional paths following their summer at Procopio, see our spring 2016 update here.  Our most recent interns, Kele Bigknife and Heather Torres, have returned to their final years at University of Michigan and UCLA Law Schools.

To learn more about our practice area and legal issues affecting Native Americans, you may consider subscribing to our blog by clicking follow on the bottom left of this page.  Then, each week, you will receive up-to-date information relating to law, policy and current events in Indian Country from Procopio attorneys and guest contributors.

Applications are due Friday, October 28th by 5 p.m. PST.

Internship applications should include:

  1. A writing sample
  2. Law school transcript
  3. Resume
  4. Cover letter identifying why this is an opportunity you would like to pursue, any tribal governmental experience you have and why Native American legal issues are significant to you.

The program is ten weeks and begins after May 15, 2017.  Applications can be emailed to: ted.griswold@procopio.com or sent via USPS mail to:

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, LLP
Attention: Ted Griswold
525 B Street, Suite 2200
San Diego, California, 92101

Our team looks forward to learning more about you, your interests and adding to our nationwide network of Procopio Alumni throughout Indian Country – please apply today!

Ted GriswoldTed Griswold is head of Procopio’s Native American Law Practice Group and primary editor for the Blogging Circle. Connect with Ted at ted.griswold@procopio.com and 619.515.3277.

 

2016 Procopio Native American Practice Group Internships Awarded to Heather Torres and Kele Bigknife

By: Theodore J. Griswold | Partner | ted.griswold@procopio.com

Procopio is pleased to welcome Ms. Heather Torres (UCLA School of Law) and Mr. Kele Bigknife (University of Michigan School of Law) as the 2016 summer interns for the firm’s Native American Practice Group. The internship program is designed to help increase opportunities for the Native American Bar as tomorrow’s leaders prepare to start their legal careers.

Each year Procopio attorneys and partners meet in consultation with tribal leaders throughout Indian Country to identify law students with qualities necessary to work along Native communities to meet their development goals. The firm has relationships with more than forty law schools with Federal Indian Law programs and advertises nationally in Native-owned and operated media channels—including Indianz.com and on Turtle Talk. It is from this applicant pool of the top candidates of law students from across the country interested in working with tribal governments that Procopio selects its two summer interns each year. Continue reading

National NALSA Board has San Diego Connections

By: Gabriela M. Rios | Law Clerk | gabriela.rios@procopio.com
Theodore J. Griswold | Partner | ted.griswold@procopio.com

The National Native American Law Students Association (NNALSA) Board announced its 2015 Executive Board on October 27, 2015 and San Diego is well represented. The Native American Law Practice Group at Procopio would like to extend congratulations to Anna Hohag and Alexandra Mojado on their recent appointments.

Anna Hohag, a citizen of the Bishop Paiute Tribe, was elected to be the Area 1 Representative, which covers Arizona, California, Hawai`i, and Nevada. Anna was a recipient of the 2015 Procopio Native American Law Internship Program at the San Diego office. Prior to interning at Procopio, Anna worked for the Pala Band of Mission Indians as a tribal liaison. She primarily focused on land and environmental issues for the tribe. Anna is now in her second year at the University of Arizona College of Law.

Alexandra Mojado, of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, was elected to serve as Secretary on the National NALSA Board of Directors. Prior to law school Alexandra was a graduate student at UCLA focusing on Public Law 280 and its impact on domestic violence. She is now in her second year at the University of Arizona College of Law.

National NALSA promotes the study of Federal Indian Law and supports Native American students in law school. It also seeks to educate the broader legal community about Native issues by hosting an annual moot court competition and writing competition. A link to the entire board can be found here.

As an active partner in the San Diego Native American community, Procopio’s Native American Law Practice Group is proud to see local Native American law students taking an active role in the Native American legal community at the national level. The firm would like to wish them success on the National NALSA Board and in their future endeavors.

Gabriela is a citizen of the Cahuilla Band of Indians and currently clerking for Procopio. She graduated from the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona in 2015 and is awaiting July bar results.

Ted is head of the Native American Law Practice Group and primary editor for the Blogging Circle. Connect with Ted at ted.griswold@procopio.com and 619.515.3277

Now Accepting Applications for Procopio’s 2016 Native American Law Internship Program

By: Theodore J. Griswold | Partner | ted.griswold@procopio.com

Procopio has a long-standing tradition of providing growth opportunities to the communities we serve. Procopio’s Native American Law Practice Group extends this tradition by actively investing in the future leaders of Indian Country through offering paid internships for Native American law students or law students with an emphasis in Native American law. Please join us in identifying qualified legal students within Native American communities that may be interested in being part of this engaging opportunity.

The Native American Law Internship provides an opportunity for a Native American law student, or law student emphasizing Native American Law, to gain hands-on experience dealing with everyday legal issues facing Native American communities. Interns are involved in matters that deal with specific Indian law-related legal practice matters and other legal problems facing tribal governments and Native entities. Procopio Interns reach out to local Native American youth to provide guidance and inspiration regarding educational direction and opportunities.

Interns join a nationwide network of the next generation of Native American Law attorneys in an active alumni program consisting of judicial clerks, governmental attorneys and associates at law firms. If you are interested in where the past interns are following their summer with the Native American Law Practice Group at Procopio then you may want to look a previous post I wrote (“Where are they now? 7 and Counting… The Procopio Native American Internship Alumni). Our alumni is now happily 9 and counting – as we have concluded our Summer 2015 – with Nikke Alex and Anna Hohag.

To learn more about our practice area and issues affecting Native people, you may consider subscribing to our blog by clicking follow on the bottom left of this page. Then, each week, you will receive up-to-date information relating to law, policy and current events in Indian Country from Procopio attorneys and guest contributors.

Applications are due Friday, October 30th by 5 p.m. PST.
Applications should include:

  • The blog post writing sample (see below)
  • Law school transcript
  • Resume
  • Cover letter identifying why this is an opportunity you would like to pursue
  • Any tribal governmental experience you have and why Native legal issues are significant to you.

The writing sample for the internship program should be a 250-300 word sample blog post on a newsworthy Native legal topic of your choosing written in a way that will appeal to readers. This is a fun way to connect your legal experience, researching and writing into a concise piece fit for publishing.

The program extends between eight to ten weeks and begins after May 16, 2016. Applications can be emailed to: ted.griswold@procopio.com or sent via USPS mail to:

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch
Attn: Ted Griswold
525 B Street, Suite 2200
San Diego, California, 92101

Our team looks forward to learning more about you, your interests and adding to our nationwide network of Procopio Alumni throughout Indian Country – please apply today!

Ted Griswold is head of the Native American Law practice group and primary editor for the Blogging Circle. Connect with Ted at ted.griswold@procopio.com and 619.515.3277.